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EU Says It Hasn’t Received Spain Bank Aid Payment Request

Spain hasn’t yet asked the European Union for an emergency disbursement of financial aid for its banks, European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said.

“The commission has not received any request from the Spanish authorities, which means in this case Banco de Espana, for emergency financial aid to its banking sector or any specific banks,” Bailly told reporters in Brussels today.

Spain is about to receive an emergency disbursement from the 100 billion-euro ($123 billion) bailout of its financial system because of restrictions the European Central Bank imposed on bank borrowing, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The ECB last month imposed limits on how much it will lend banks against government-guaranteed bonds. The rule change meant Spain had to ditch a plan for nationalized lender Bankia group to get a loan from the Frankfurt-based central bank, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Bailly said that any Spanish request would be submitted to the commission, the ECB and the so-called eurogroup working group, a subset of the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee, headed by Austrian Thomas Wieser. The committee is composed of senior officials from national governments and central banks, the ECB and the commission.

“Each of the three institutions would have to make its own assessment and give its opinion,” Bailly said. “As this would be an emergency request, we can expect that the three institutions would deal with this matter swiftly.”

Bailly said the commission is in “regular contact” with the Spanish authorities on implementation of the memorandum of understanding on bank aid.

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